Dr. Victor Rios

Dr. Victor Rios is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his Ph.D. at the University of California Berkeley in 2005. Professor Rios has worked with local school districts to develop programs and curricula aimed at improving the quality of interactions between authority figures and youths. Using his personal experience of living on the streets, dropping out of school, and being incarcerated as a juvenile—along with his research findings—he has developed interventions for marginalized students aimed at promoting personal transformation and civic engagement. These programs have been implemented in Los Angeles, California (Watts); juvenile detention facilities; and alternative high schools. He is also the author of five books: Project GRIT: Generating Resilience to Inspire Transformation (2016); Street Life: Poverty, Gangs, and a Ph.D. (2011); Buscando Vida, Encontrando Éxito: La Fuerza de La Cultura Latina en la Educación (2016); Human Targets: Schools, Police, and the Criminalization of Latino Youth (2017); and Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys (2011). Dr. Rios has been featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Ted Talks, the Oprah Winfrey Network, Primer Impacto, and National Public Radio. He has had the honor of meeting President Obama and advising his administration on gun violence and policing. His Ted Talk “Help for kids the education system ignores” has garnered over 1.2 Million views. He is the subject of the documentary film The Pushouts (thepushouts.com).


Closing Keynote Presentation: Building a Continuum of Care for Marginalized Children and Youth”
Friday, January 11th, 10:30am

Research on children and youth who overcome adversity to successfully navigate the education pipeline has demonstrated that resilience is often actuated by an emotionally-relevant mentor.  This presentation will emphasize the importance of emotional support from authority figures in the lives of marginalized students.  Dr. Rios will discuss how system workers can play a powerful role in guiding children that have been left behind.  He will provide examples of practical strategies that work in helping these at-promise young people succeed in life and education.